Music Lists

The Battle Series ​Verzuz ​Is Slowly Losing Its Appeal

Lack of star power and corporate backing is causing the show to lose steam.

With the entire world stuck at home sheltering in place, musicians have had to resort to entertaining fans (and themselves) virtually.

While some entertained the weary masses in the form of TikTok videos and Instagram challenges, others went as far as performing concerts and DJ sets from the comfort of their homes. But it would be the platform created by super producers Swizz Beatz and Timbaland that would become the frontrunner in quarantine entertainment.

On March 24, Verzuz was born as a showdown between accomplished artists, songwriters, and producers playing their most popular songs against each other in the spirit of friendly competition. Instagram Live would act as the battleground for the clash of musical titans. Swizz and Timbaland would not only serve as the masterminds of the series but its inaugural battle participants.


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Music Features

Remembering Prince, Who Dissolved Gender and Redefined Star Power

A Prince tribute airs tonight in honor of the four-year anniversary of the icon's death.

Prince was born on June 7, 1958 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

By the time he died exactly four years ago today, he'd released 23 albums, redefined the color purple, and ingrained himself within the legacy of pop music forever.

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popular

Colbert, Fallon, and Kimmel to Host a COVID-19 Benefit That Could Be the Biggest in TV History

One World: Together at Home is likely to draw a huge global audience

Global Citizen

On Saturday, April 18th, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel, and Jimmy Fallon will be joining late-night forces to host a global television event.

The event, entitled One World: Together at Home, will promote the international fight to end the COVID-19 pandemic and raise money for the World Health Organization. From 8-10PM EST, it will be broadcast live on the big three American TV networks—ABC, CBS, and NBC—as well as around the world and on a number of cable networks and streaming platforms.

Any TV event set to be broadcast on all three of those networks would automatically be a pretty big deal, but with a huge portion of the world currently under some form of shelter-in-place or stay-at-home order—and a lot of TV and movies being shut down or delayed—this event has the potential to draw in a truly historic number of viewers. Of course that depends on whether the organizers can put together the kind of entertainment that will convince people to put down Animal Crossing to tune in. With that in mind, let's take a look at the lineup as it currently stands.

Along with the hosts of The Late Show, The Tonight Show, and Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the event—which has been curated by Lady Gaga in cooperation with Global Citizen—will feature appearances from Alanis Morissette, Italian opera star Andrea Bocelli, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day, Nigerian singer Burna Boy, Chris Martin of Coldplay, David Beckham, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Elton John, Idris Elba, Colombian Singer J Balvin, John Legend, Kacey Musgraves, Keith Urban, Kerry Washington, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, Lizzo, Colombian Singer Maluma, Paul McCartney, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Indian actor Shah Rukh Khan, Stevie Wonder and some of the muppets of Sesame Street.

In other words, there will be recognizable stars for just about any part of the world and any age group. While it might not reach the level of the World Cup final—which draws an audience of over 500 million—One World: Together at Home has the potential to far-surpass the viewing numbers of an event like the Oscars. With any luck, it will, because the money raised will go to the WHO's COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund, which equips healthcare workers around the world and helps to provide food, shelter, and healthcare to people in need.

So tune in on Saturday at 8:00 PM, and donate if you can afford to. Because right now everyone could use the entertainment, and the whole world needs some help.

CULTURE

Chrissy Teigen's Crush on Beyoncé Is So Wholesome and Humanizing

She's a huge star in her own right, but when she's in the same room as Beyoncé, Chrissy Teigen is reduced to a teenage groupie

George Pimentel/Getty Images

So much about Chrissy Teigen's life seems completely unattainable.

She's a supermodel married to People's Sexiest Aardvark Man Alive—who also happens to be a talented musician who has won literally every award on earth (EGOT and then some) and also wrote one of the greatest modern love songs about their relationship. She's a TV host, an author, an activist, a philanthropist, and—oh yeah—a mother of two adorable children. Perhaps most impressive of all is her army of passionate online followers. She has 28 million followers on Instagram and 12 million Twitter stans who can easily outmatch Donald Trump and his legion of trolls in a Twitter feud.

It's genuinely hard to imagine any situation that could intimidate a person who is so fundamentally winning at every aspect of life—right up until the moment she starts talking about Beyoncé.

Remember that first pre-teen crush who made your palms sweaty and turned everything you said into an incoherent mumble? That is exactly the effect that Beyoncé has on Chrissy Teigen. "There's nothing like seeing Beyoncé in person…she just emits this aura that's spectacular." That was from a 2018 interview following the Grammy awards when, according to Teigen, she was so overwhelmed she threw herself down at Beyoncé's feet like she was kneeling before Daenerys Targaryen: "I took her hands and I got down on my knees and I was like, 'Sorry to bother you, my Queen.'"

Over the years, Teigen has variously claimed that Beyoncé is her everything, can do no wrong, is the only reason she got married, and is "the most humble, beautiful person I have ever met"—often including a sort of sorry-not-sorry apology to her husband as she makes her true love known. But her most recent interaction with her idol, at Beyoncé and Jay-Z's secretive Oscars after-party makes things particularly clear.

Teigen posted a clip on Instagram of herself and husband John Legend at the event. She is wearing a sheer dress of flowing ruffles that would probably cost more than a Tesla—if designers weren't falling over themselves to make her custom dresses—and the officially recognized sexiest man alive is disrupting her supermodel composure with a series of loving kisses on her cheek. But the text makes it clear that Chrissy is only concerned about Beyoncé. After explaining that she changed her outfit for the party, Teigen goes on to say, "@Beyonce if there is any, any way you're reading this please just know I stare at you and don't talk because I am truly so nervous to say something stupid but we love you and thank you so much!!!"

Not only was she too awkward to talk around Beyoncé, or to stop herself from staring, she had to follow up from the safety of the Internet to explain herself and put her love into words. It reads like the kind of note you would pass to your crush in class, expressing what she could never say out loud, and it makes Chrissy Teigen seem suddenly normal and human and approachable. It does the classic trick of reminding us that celebrities really are just like us…except for Beyoncé. Even other celebrities know that Beyoncé is a goddess.

MUSIC

From BTS to Lizzo, Here's Who's Performing at the Grammy Awards

Billie Eilish, Ariana Grande, Lizzo, and more will take the Grammys stage.

This Sunday, January 26th, the 62nd annual Grammy Awards will commence.

There's a lot to look forward to. With pop's favorite gothic youth Billie Eilish nominated for the top four categories and Ariana Grande's return after pulling out of the performances last year, 2020 will mark a major year for music's biggest night. In the shadow of the politically heavy Golden Globes a few weeks ago, we're looking forward to potentially shocking speeches; while we can't necessarily imagine host Alicia Keys saying anything too controversial, we're sure a presenter will say at least one thing to make our jaws drop.

Heated debate already surrounds BTS' historic appearance as the first K-pop group ever to perform on the Grammys stage. However, despite being international chart-toppers, they were not nominated for an award (no K-pop group has ever has been nominated). In fact, just last year BTS made history as the first K-pop act to present a Grammy. Tomorrow they will perform onstage as guests in Lil Nas X's performance of "Old Town Road All-Stars," featuring the nominee's many collaborators. Disappointed fans are questioning why BTS' global success isn't being recognized by the Recording Academy, not even giving one of the biggest bands in the world their own peformance, which would surely help to improve the award show's poor ratings in recent years. While #BTSDeservesBetter trends on Twitter, Forbes still calls it an "incredible leap forward when it comes to Korean acts being taken seriously by the American music industry,"

Ar least BTS will join Eilish and Grande among a slew of othet major artists scheduled to perform on Grammy night. Here's who else you can expect to take the stage:

Lizzo

Lizzo


Tyler, the Creator

Tyler, the Creator


Sheila E. and Usher (Prince tribute)

Sheila E. and Prince


Rosalía

Rosalia


Lil Nas X, BTS, Diplo, Mason Ramsey, and Billy Ray Cyrus

Billy Ray Cyrus and Lil Nas X


Nipsey Hussle tribute from John Legend, DJ Khaled, Meek Mill, Roddy Ricch, YG, and Kirk Franklin

DJ Khaled and Usher


Bonnie Raitt (tribute to John Prine)

Bonnie Raitt


Charlie Wilson

Charlie Wilson


Jonas Brothers

Jonas Brothers


Camila Cabello, Gary Clark Jr., John Legend, Debbie Allen, Joshua Bell, Common, Misty Copeland, Lang Lang, Cyndi Lauper, Ben Platt, and the War and Treaty (tribute to Ken Ehrlich)

Camila Cabello


Gary Clark Jr. and the Roots

Gary Clark Jr. Amy Harris/Invision/AP


H.E.R.

HER


Demi Lovato

Demi Lovato


Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.

Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C.


Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani

Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani


Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Trombone Shorty

Trombone Shorty

Culture Feature

Why Does Chrissy Teigen Keep Dragging John Legend?

We're not saying Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend... But if she does, he probably likes it.

John Legend has received a distinction no man has ever earned.

Sure, he's achieved a full EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony), he stars in an Emmy Award-winning TV show, and he's only the fourth person of color to be named People's "Sexiest Man Alive," but his most impressive credential by far is having Chrissy Teigen as his wife.

"My secret is out," she tweeted in 2019. "I have fulfilled my dream of having boned @people's sexiest man alive!! an honor!!!!"

Legend is arguably a trailblazer in this new avenue; as a baby-faced 40-year-old, his new "sexy" honor tips the balance in the eternal battle between being "cute" or "hot" but never a hybrid of both. Legend commented right away on the vacuous nature of the "Sexiest Man" title, "Everyone's going to be picking me apart to see if I'm sexy enough to hold this title," he told People. I'm [also] following Idris Elba, which is not fair and is not nice to me!"

No, it's not nice. But with Chrissy Teigen as his wife, Legend knows better than to expect niceties; because it's clear that no one, absolutely no one, is better at dragging John Legend than his wife.

Twitter

John Legend: The Icon, the Meme, the Aardvark

The Internet's love of the "John Legend looks like Arthur" meme doesn't compare to Chrissy Teigen's. She's returned the public's attention to it when it simply wasn't being appreciated enough, especially in reference to their daughter. Once upon a time, it seems Legend could appreciate the joke, even dressing up as the children's cartoon for a commercial once. But marriage is long and arduous, and not even eternal vows can't prepare you for having the Queen of Twitter as a spouse. Really, John Legend's exasperation in his wife's Instagram comments is the delicious coda to every little dig.


Chrissy Teigen: John Legend's Worst Fear

Shortly after being crowned the most symmetrical face in mainstream media, Legend guest-hosted the Ellen DeGeneres Show. Inevitably, during one of the interludes, Chrissy Teigen popped out of the fake piece of furniture that's always lying around Ellen's set so nearly every celebrity guest can be caught on camera having a moment of pure, animalistic fear. This is John Legend's fear face:

Chrissy Teigen Scares Guest Host John Legend www.youtube.com


Even scared, he looks so carefree. How? I don't trust it.



After bantering about the uncomfortable logistics of sitting in a box so you can yell "boo" at your husband, whom you probably live with and could do a better job of scaring the next time he's emerging from the shower, Teigen seemed to believe that her husband genuinely had no idea she was in the studio. Teigen asked him, "You didn't hear me banging around the box?" "No, I did not," Legend answered. Teigen lamented to the audience, "This helps because he's very unaware of anything around him. Like we get in fights on the airplane and stuff. He'll hit people with his bag. And I'm like apologize!"

Chrissy Teigen Isn't a Huge John Legend Fan

What makes that Ellen scare even better is that Chrissy Teigen seems to alternate between flippantly sharing intimate details about her and John's love life and also not knowing pretty basic, very public information about her own husband. Why? Because she's busy. No, she never saw Selma, despite her husband taking home his first Oscar for writing the moving score. Why? Because she didn't feel like it, mind your business!

Chrissy Teigen Doesn't Know Jack About John Legend www.youtube.com


Chrissy Teigen: Not Afraid to Challenge Idris Elba

In order to clearly communicate his deep feelings of inferiority compared to Idris Elba, John Legend took to Twitter to compare a picture of himself at 17 to the aesthetic pleasure that is the one and only Idrissa Akuna Elba, OBE. To her credit, Teigen wrote an encouraging response that magnanimously pointed to the fact that we all have old photos of ourselves in which we look like a half-transformed Animorph beast...except Idris Elba. "Yeah but let's see an @idriselba pic from 1995 (prob still very hot)," she wrote.

And indeed, Elba accepted her challenge and posted a photo of himself as a smoking hot twenty-something year old in 1995, which at a certain point is honestly tantamount to an attack on society, because who needs to look like this?




Yes, Chrissy Teigen tried, but must you, Idris Elba?! One day I'm going to start a movement to dismantle beauty biases in Hollywood and all of American culture just so I can shame people for being so hot. Oh, what? That's already a toxic take that's historically targeted women who vote and write and have senses of humor while daring to look better than an unwashed bridge troll? Much like former Sports Illustrated model-turned-author-turned-beloved-TV-personality Chrissy Teigen? who has the honor of being the target of Trump's Twitter rampages??? Nevermind, then. Clearly, Chrissy Teigen bullies John Legend, the "Sexiest Man Alive" in 2019, as an ironic commentary on beauty biases and shame that pervades American media. I get it now.